Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Green Mouse muses on the Greenway, eminent domain lawsuits, squatting and the New Albany Boat Club.

2:25 p.m. update: Please see the blog comments for relevant updates from Ann and Dan. When I have time to return to this, I'll broaden the court records search and see what comes bobbing to the surface.

We know that the third phase of New Albany's contribution to the Ohio River Greenway will begin soon, and will involve the section demarcated by 8th Street and 18th Street extended.

In response to a Fb question last week about how this section of the route is to be configured, I spent couple of hours reading Greenway Commission minutes dating back to 2011, and will continue to chip away at the research as time permits.

Meanwhile, last week, we considered a topic overheard by the Green Mouse via the rumorama.

Eminent domain? Is an Ohio River marina yet another Gahan expenditure on the down low?

I'm wondering if the rumorama perhaps has confused separate issues: The perennially recurring discussion of marina options somewhere on the river at an undefined future juncture, and the existence of the entity known as the New Albany Boat Club (NABC).

As recently as 2013, the Greenway Commission was being told by New Albany's functionaries that as land acquisition continued, easements were being sought from the New Albany Boat Club. At the same approximate time, or earlier, the boat club appears to have been the subject of a lawsuit from the same property owner, Daniel Meyer, who now faces eminent domain proceedings.

As you can see, Meyer's property laps over the flood wall at 10th Street, hence the city's legal challenge as Greenway build-out preparations begin.

Simply stated, it seems the boat club was squatting for decades, although as yet, I cannot locate records of the landowner vs, boat club lawsuit. Is the boat club gone from this spot?

The newly instigated city vs. Meyer suit has just now appeared on the state's court portal, and one of the first actions listed is the boat club's request to be left out of it as a defendant -- presumably because it doesn't own the land, anyway.

If anyone reading can shed a bit of daylight on these maneuverings, I'd appreciate it. For some reason, city officials seldom speak to me any longer.

Following are photos of the scene, with the approach south on 10th Street toward the flood wall's doorway (mentioned as an access component of the Greenway work to come), then east along the existing vehicular road. There is another building adjacent to the boat club, but the eGIS listings do not indicate a property owner other than the one currently involved with litigation.

Just beyond the boat club to the east, the property owner is identified as Eastridge LLC, formerly the city's chief environmental nemesis, now our favored demolition contractor ever since Silver Street Park was built and Dan Coffey could afford new wheels.


Ann said...

The Meyer vs boat club suit is on the court website--been going on since 2002.

The New Albanian said...

Thanks. I didn't look that far back.

Loren Pilcher said...

Thanks for this excellent write-up. Looking forward to what else you dig up, Roger.

Ann said...

Once squatters have been in place for a long time, you can't just kick them out--an Army Corps employee says they have to be relocated to a similar property free of any indebtedness on the squatter's part--so it would be too expensive to relocate the Boat Club. Unless something dramatic occurs, they will stay where they are.

dan chandler said...

Indiana's adverse possession statute differs from most states' in that it requires "squatters" pay the property taxes for a decade before they can claim ownership. Since the Greenway uses federal funds, they're required to locate owners and tenants. However, unless the Boat Club can prove they've been paying property taxes for that land, I'm not sure that the federal relo regs would apply.